A Ball Game and Math

Below are some questions. It’s a different way to look at math.
121. ( ) Ever think of math as the “science of patterns?”
Topics covered:
A. Estimating.
B. Speed (Rate = Distance/Time).
C. Percentage (different ways to divide a whole).
D. Energy created to make other objects move.
E. Pattern recognition.
F. What Changing a Rule Does (an alternative thinking when stuck). It’s the second part of a system we call MR. PET.

MR. PET is in every game including those of respect and generosity.
Mission: observe what happens when you drop two bags of balls down a staircase and see what kind of patterns are created.
Rules (usually in sequence): drop all the balls simultaneously.
Players (sometimes with unequal powers): the balls, Mark and Cameraman David.
Environment: brick staircase in Portland’s Pioneer Square.
Tools: balls, ball bags, camera on tripod.
Interested in some questions (a stopwatch may be needed)?
103. Estimate how many balls were on the stairs before they were released?
104. Approximately how many seconds did it take for the first ball to pass the last step?
105. Of the balls that made it completely down the steps, how many feet do you estimate that they traveled?
106. What was the rate of speed in feet per second that it took for the first ball to travel down all the steps?
107. Can you estimate how many balls remain on the stairs just before the video ends?
108. Can you estimate the percentage of the balls that bounced over the camera?
109. If we added twice as many balls, would the first one move faster or slower? Why?
142. What if we did just a dozen? Would the first one finish at a faster rate or not?
143. The balls seemed to be moving more quickly at the beginning than at the end. Why?
144. Can you estimate how high a ball bounced off the stairs?
145. How would you change the experiment?
146. What questions would you ask that haven’t been asked?
147. Notice any patterns?
148. How many times did you watch the video?
If you have a question you think we could use, and we do (we, of course, give credit) send us your physical address. We’ll send you a ball and a Kuriosity Lab band–a very rare commodity!